Saquon Barkley Active vs. Broncos: Is Giants Running Back a Smart Fantasy Football Start?

Saquon Barkley Active vs. Broncos: Is Giants Running Back a Smart Fantasy Football Start? article feature image

Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley

  • New York Giants running Saquon Barkley is active for Sunday's NFL Week 1 game against the Denver Broncos.
  • Barkley is still recovering from a torn ACL suffered last season and may see limited in Sunday's game.
  • Learn more about Barkley's injury status, including whether fantasy football managers should start him against the Broncos.

The best content often comes from topics that interest the writer.

Well, New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley's status for Sunday's NFL Week 1 matchup against the Denver Broncos is important to me in two ways:

  1. I’m a New York Giants fan (who, for the record, bet on the Broncos weeks ago)
  2. Barkley is on my most important fantasy football team

From a betting perspective, I'm already locked into Denver this afternoon, so Barkley's health is more of a "nice to know" situation.

However, from a fantasy football standpoint, projecting Barkley's effectiveness is key in setting your lineup, especially considering his opponent is Denver's loaded defense.

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Barkley will be "eased in and used sparingly."

This is also a league in which I started Ezekiel Elliott, who put up a whopping 3.9 fantasy points against the Buccaneers on Thursday. That means I can't afford to whiff on my second starting running back slot.

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Saquon Barkley Fantasy Football Advice

According to the latest injury news, the star Giants RB is officially listed as questionable (knee) for today's game against the Broncos, but is still expected to play.

It'll be important to continue to monitor how Barkley progresses through warmups, and be sure to have a backup plan in place just in case New York ultimately decides to give him another week of recovery time.

For example, I moved James Robinson into my second running-back slot and slide Barkley into a flex position, giving me more options in the unlikely scenario he doesn't play.

But if he does give it a go, I'll be hard-pressed not to roll with Barkley.

The Action Network's fantasy football Week 1 rankings have Barkley at No. 16 among running backs in standard leagues and No. 15 in PPR formats, so it's unlikely most people will have better available options.

Action Network fantasy analyst Samantha Previte agrees.

"Even in light of the workload concerns, his upside still keeps him well inside the RB2 tier with significant upside, meaning you're starting him unless you happen to have two or three other top 12 running backs," she said. 

The Action Network's Sean Koerner weighed in as well:

"I was expecting him to play Week 1, with a limited workload for weeks now- so no huge change. He’s a low end RB2 with a wide range of outcomes. Barkley doesn’t need that many touches to do damage. I think the fact the Giants play Thursday will also force the Giants to limit him to ~15 touches today."

So if you're like me, keep an eye on the latest injury news, but if Barkley is going to give it go, then you should as well.

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